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This guide explains what happens at a Buddhist funeral:

Buddhist beliefs about death 

Buddhists believe death is part of the cycle known as saṃsāra, in which a Buddhist’s actions in life and all previous incarnations of life will affect future incarnations.

By freeing themselves from all desires and notions, Buddhists believe they will leave the cycle and reach the state of nirvana (Heaven). 


Buddhist death rituals 

After a death, the body of the deceased should not be touched or moved in any way because Buddhists believe the soul does not leave the body immediately after you've stopped breathing.

The body must be completely cold until it can be prepared for cremation - before it can be prepared, the deceased should be dressed in normal everyday clothes.


What happens at a Buddhist funeral service? 

A Buddhist funeral service can be quite diverse. It is typically held at a Buddhist monastery, though some families prefer to do it at their own home.

During the service, monks and other members of the Buddhist community are invited to read sermons or eulogies. Chanting may be led by monks and guests can either join in or sit silently.


What happens at a Buddhist cremation? 

A Buddhist may be buried or cremated, though cremation is traditionally the preferred option. The cremation service usually takes place at a local crematorium, with the ashes scattered, buried or kept in an urn at home.


What happens after a Buddhist funeral? 

A reception may be held after a Buddhist funeral, where mourners are invited to pay their respects. This usually depends on family traditions.

Source: Buddhist Society 


Any of our Funeral Directors can help arrange a Buddhist funeral for your loved one but we also have a number which specialise in Asian funerals.

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